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Anxiety symptoms

Asked By: Anonymous     Views: 1,479 times

I have recently started reading “beyond shyness”. I am 30 years old and just within the last several months have been developing some very distressing eye contact symptoms. I have always been a bit reserved and shy especially in the work environment, however recently every time I speak to someone face to face I find myself struggling with eye contact. I would constantly have a wandering eye and looking down during a conversation even though I try to avoid it, knowing I make both men and women uncomfortable as if I am looking at their breasts or genital area. It has become hard for me to concentrate and keep normal eye contact as I tense up in these situations (my issue is always on my mind). I had no such issues a couple months ago and it seems to be getting progressively worse, not better. This issue is prevalent with everyone except my parents.

You are describing a phenomenon I have encountered quite a few times. Your avoidance of eye contact is a developing compulsion caused by your unresolved obsessive worry. "Always being a bit reserved", I believe, is a diagnostic statement meaning that the seeds of social anxiety have been breeding over time. If the eye contact symptoms have developed over the last few months it is probably a combination of accruing issues with anxiety combined with new stress. Rather than considering "exercises", I would encourage you to learn to bring the underlying emotional issues and dynamics that cause and trigger shame, embarrassment, humiliation to a conscious level. In addition it will be productive for you to resolve the issues causing your self-esteem challenge.

The following is part of a collection of questions and sharing by our readership community about a wide variety of aspects of social anxiety. Dive in and receive practical insights and advice. If you have a question that is not included you can contact Jonathan at jberent@socialanxiety.com.

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